Seogwipo is the second largest city on Jeju Island and is located in the South. There are a bunch of popular sightseeing spots in and around the city, so I got up at 6am to take the first bus.
First up, this is the point where traveling on my own, without any tour guide or language skills really caught up with me. Getting there was a bit of a shitshow as I first managed to get off at the wrong bus stop, and then strayed around the area sorrounding the Falls for what felt like a solid 90 minutes. Turns out the falls can be quite difficult to locate, at least if you go by Google Maps. You can only reach them through the entrance area and have to walk towards the falls for a couple of minutes from there. So while Google Maps has the location of the Falls, going there just leads you to a park and a bridge that is going nowhere – the Falls are hidden somewhere below, in a place that is completely inaccessible from where you are at.
They’re down there…somewhere.
So I would definitely recommend planning trips like these out ahead in detail, or joining a group tour bus or something like that. Traveling independently has plenty of benefits (no hassle or limited time spent at each site), but also comes with a few drawbacks, especially if you’re as prone to getting lost as I am. Then again, after a few days pass, you’ll probably look back on the entire affair as a poorly planned but fun little adventure. And you run into a bunch of stuff that you normally would never see on a tightly planned tourist tour, like some nice little parks and sculptures.
The Falls themselves are quite pretty, but become an incredible sight if you’ve spent multiple hours (not even counting the hour-plus bus ride from the other side of the island) frantically searching for them.
I guess the famous ‘Korean couple look’ also applies to siblings. Probably saves the parents a lot of effort.
It’s a lovely place that I recommend visiting. Just try to be a bit less clumsy about it than I was.
After that, I continued to wander around and walked along the coastline for a bit. However, I managed to not get lost this time around, as my next goal is quite easy to spot from a distance.
This waterfall is quite famous and a popular destination. According to some, it is the only Asian waterfall that falls directly into the Ocean, but this claim appears to be disputed (thanks Wikipedia). Either way, it’s a lovely place to visit. There’s a small temple nearby and the waterfall is quite impressive. You can observe it from above or make your way down to sea level. As usual on Jeju, the fee for visiting these attractions is very low (2000 won).
Oedolgae & Olle Trail 7
Oedolgae is a famous rock standing in the ocean right at the coast. There are a lot of legends sorrounding this rock, one being that it helped Jeju locals fend off Mongolian forces. It is also called the Lonely Rock as it stands there, all by itself. Poor thing. Knowing that feeling all too well, I decided to pay it a visit. It was apparently also prominently featured in a popular K-drama and there’s a cutout of one of the characters that you can take pictures with. The rock itself is…well, it’s a rock alright. Not the most spectacular thing I’ve ever seen by itself, but it is still a really nice area. There is a big park nearby and the coastline itself is quite beautiful.
You can also walk on Olle Trail #7 from here. The word ‘Olle’ originates from a Jeju dialect and refers to a path. Nowadays, it refers to a large number of walking trails all over Jeju Island. This particular trail is very nice as it leads you along the lovely coast. While I would say that the lonely rock in itself is maybe not all that special, it’s still a worthwhile place to visit since you can immerse yourself in Jeju’s beautiful nature and walk along the coast for a bit.
This is another famous coastal monument on Jeju. This unique rock formation is – like so many things on Jejudo – the result of volcanic activity, as lava streamed into the sea. Through a process that I won’t even bother trying to explain, the lava hardened in this very interesting shape that almost makes it look like pillars carved by humans rather than a natural occurence.
There is also a lovely little park at this site that really hammers home that you are not somewhere in ‘mainland’ Korea, but rather in a very unique tropical paradise as you sit there, surrounded by palm trees.
And yeah…I could definitely think of worse places to get married in. Come to think of it, I must have crashed at least half a dozen weddings during my time abroad.
I ended the day at Jungmun Beach. Just a nice place to relax, and dip your toes in the water. And of course I ate some street food and then suddenly got worried about getting salmonella poisoning or some shit like that. Who knows why that idea suddenly crossed my mind after eating Korean street food constantly. My brain works in mysterious ways. Certainly a nice way to end the day….and of course, nothing happened.